By Treena Mielke
When Shane Anderson graduated from Rimbey High School in 2004 he certainly didn’t have a crystal ball to peer into his future.
He probably would have been more than a little surprised if he did.
Anderson recently graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School. Presently he is in Boston studying for his bar exam.
Sitting among the crowd at the graduation ceremony was Anderson’s mother Roxanne Anderson and his grandmother Evelyn Schrader from Rimbey.
It goes without saying, both women were very proud of their young man.
“I cried, I laughed, yes, I am extremely proud,” said his mom, who is a Grade 2 teacher at Bluffton.
In a telephone interview, Anderson reflected on growing up in Rimbey and the chain of events that led a small town boy to eventually study in the hallowed halls of an Ivy League university such Harvard.
Anderson put down roots in Rimbey, living in a house on 47th Street with his siblings and parents, while his grandparents and an uncle lived close by. He remembers spending many hours at his grandparents’ home on days his parents left early for work.
As a teen his tastes were somewhat unconventional and, one day, after stumbling upon some Japanese music online, he decided he wanted to learn the language.
And so he did.
“I was into electronic music back then. And I heart an artist with music that was an interesting combination of electronic and pop. After listening to that music I really wanted to learn the language so I decided to teach it to myself.
As far as his future, the young man had no plan that was written in stone.
“I didn’t have any grandiose plan. In fact, when I was in Grade 11, I was worried about what I would be doing in the future. What if I don’t get accepted into university?”
After graduating second in his class from Rimbey high school, Anderson went on to the University of Calgary graduating with distinction with a degree in electrical engineering.
He worked in Japan and Calgary doing engineering for several years and also traveled to Japan where he taught English.
While Anderson enjoyed the career path he had embarked on, he knew in his heart he wanted something more. Never one to settle for second best, he decided to pursue another career dream.
He applied to multiple schools including Harvard Law School and the University of Toronto to study law.
He received an email notifying him that he had been accepted at Harvard while flying to his brother’s home in Calgary for Christmas just over three years ago.
“I was somewhat surprised, myself, (at being accepted into Harvard)” he said. “There is a misconception out there that only the privileged get in.”
Attending Harvard University has been an interesting and challenging experience.
“It is a challenging environment. You are among driven and very bright people and there is a lot of pressure to perform well.”
Anderson has not only fit in well at Harvard, he has excelled. And now with his graduating degree in hand, he is ready to move on.
He still doesn’t have a crystal ball to foresee the future, but on the other hand, his Harvard law degree has opened new doors for him offering endless possibilities. He has already been hired by Ropes & Gray LLP, a prestigious law firm which has offices all over the world including Palo Alto in Silicon Valley, California and Tokyo. Because of their connections, he could find himself back in Japan or he could spend time in the beautiful state of California.
Despite his personal successes, Anderson remains humble and grateful for the way his life has transpired.
Enjoying the moment, staying engaged and interested and following his passion has helped him along his career path so far.
No doubt, these traits will continue to be his trademarks as he continues his journey.